PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Fourth of July isn't a vacation: It's Peak Everything.
ExxonMobil and Valero get to laugh in your general direction as both the Energy Department and AAA put the price of a gallon of gasoline around $3.70, or nearly 13 cents more than it was around this time last year. That's the highest gas prices have been on Fourth of July in six years. Meanwhile, Delta and United look forward to your long weekend as Priceline puts the average Fourth of July airfare for domestic flights at $365, with that number jumping to $734 internationally. AAA puts the round-trip, discounted fare for the Top 40 domestic routes at $218, down 5% from last year, but notes that about 1% more people will be taking to the air.
Hilton and Marriott are similarly pleased, as hotel costs are up 9%, to $178 a night, at AAA's Three-Diamond Hotels and up 15%, to $137 a night, at its discount Two Diamond spots. Weekend daily car rental rates at Avis and Hertz are holding steady from last year at an average $58 a day, but bookings are up by double-digit percentage points from last year. Oh, and if you decide to stay home and just take in a movie, Regal Entertainment and Carmike would love you for it. Movie tickets are an average of $7.96, down slightly from $8.13 last year, but still at 2012 levels after rising from $5.81 just a decade before.
This is all going to make an already costly holiday even more financially painful. WalletHub estimates that travelers will spend an average of $330 on Fourth of July travel this year, up 10% from last year and 72% from 2012. If you're looking for a way around it now, you're way too late. Today, July 3, has already been highlighted by Orbitz as this week's peak Fourth of July departure date, so all the geniuses who decided to take that half-day or develop a decent-sounding cough are only going to find themselves getting nice and familiar with the taillights of everyone they were trying to avoid. Also see: 10 Best Convertibles for Summer 2014 Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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